Whether you’re all in on year-end fundraising or working in some 2017 prep, I bet you have some pretty ambitious goals to meet. You wouldn’t be reading this otherwise.
Here’s a proven but frequently overlooked method to help you get there: consistent communications. Consistency enables your people and prospects to recognize your organization’s communications in a flash. Time and time again, I’ve seen consistency across channels, programs and services, and audiences help nonprofits like yours motivate the actions they need. Those are the same messages likely to be remembered and repeated. Here’s how to get there:
This morning’s election news dug into the divide that’s fracturing the U.S. Hearing the stats on how deep and broad these divisions are—rural vs. urban, men vs. women, those with post-secondary education vs. those without—wasn’t surprising. But it was distressing, especially as I contemplate where we go from here.
So many organizations have ignored the chaos we’ve lived in during this extended election ramp up. In sharp contrast, StoryCorps has communicated with non-partisan honesty and heart:
Every election season is a barrier to connection, with people overwhelmed by 24/7 messages from multiple campaigns via multiple channels. But connecting this fall, with a presidential campaign as contentious and bizarre as the Clinton-Trump contest, is tougher than ever. That’s a real concern as we plunge into Giving Tuesday and Year-End.
Tonight’s debate will, once again, highlight our dukes up, all-rules-broken political arena. Pile on the chaos we face on so many fronts—from Hurricane Matthew recovery to racial profiling, and the refugee crisis—and it’s almost impossible to get attention, much less motivate action. We can’t fight it, nor can we sit it out.
Here’s how to get (and stay) close to your people right now:
1) Show your people you get them. The shifting of norms—who is presidential material and how the campaign is run, caring for refugees fleeing nations that brutalize them, public safety for all—is unnerving. People are feeling vulnerable, and the candidates’ fear mongering fuels our anxiety and sense of powerlessness.
Acknowledge that this is a tough timefor all of us, and that you respect and care about your people and their families.
This incredible experiment in using virtual reality to build empathy—the first step to engagement and action—could be groundbreaking. I am following closely, can’t wait to see how this evolves, and promise to report back along the way. Van, I hope you and your team will share out what works, what doesn’t, and how other orgs and causes can use this technique to build the empathy necessary to motivate action.
P.P.S. This Day of Empathy approach is all about making Dream Corps’ methods and goals relevant to more of us, via virtual reality. Relevance Rules! And it’s meta—Van does a fantastic job of making the experiment relevant to us in this video.
How many times did you get distracted already today?
It’s no secret that we need to communicate quickly, briefly and on point to grab the attention of folks in a near constant stage of distraction. That’s been one of the most significant fundraising challenges since the advent of the Internet, compounded over time by our reliance on more content on more platforms on more devices more of the time. But the first step to connecting in our age of distraction is understanding what’s going on.
Consider your habits. How much attention do you give your 8-year-old daughter’s first-time request to host a sleepover, your BFF’s distress over her mom’s increasing dementia, or your colleague’s wrangles with her boss? For most of us, the answer is “not as much as I would like to.”
There’s no better way for your organization to get your supporters’ and prospects’ attention (media attention, too) than piggybacking on what’s already top of mind. Your people are already thinking on this stuff, so are far more likely to connect with your campaign than at any other time. Relevances rules!
So, make the most of Mother’s Day—you still have time if you act now. Mother’s Day campaigns are right-things, right-now marketing and I’ve seen some fantastic examples from nonprofits like yours in recent years. Take a look and act NOW:
Watch it and weep, with laughter and recognition (if you’re a working parent, or overloaded in any other way). That’s definitely me! Is it you? This video from Make It Work—a community making things better for hardworking women, men and families across the country—works wonders. It: READ MORE
Get this! Media recluse Bob Dylan recently gave his first interview in a few years…to the AARP magazine.
Dylan and his handlers were being crafty, not crazy, here. Dylan’s just-released album, Shadows in the Night, is 100% Sinatra covers. “Bob…wanted to reach the AARP audience. And he thought that this record would be more appreciated by people who had more wisdom and experience in life,” says Robert Love, publisher of the magazine.
I’m a huge fan of the charity clearinghouse GlobalGiving, and have donated through them several times to causes I wouldn’t have been able to connect with otherwise.
That’s GlobalGiving’s sweet spot—connecting donors like yours (and you, and me) with causes that we may not find, know of and/or be able to easily donate to. They do a fantastic job of it: Since 2002, GlobalGiving has raised $151,783,082 from 407,034 donors who have supported 10,812 projects.
There’s no better way for your organization to get your supporters’ and prospects’ attention (media attention, too) than hooking into what’s top of mind. Your people are already thinking about these topics and issues, so are far more likely to connect with your campaign than at other times.
That’s right-things, right-now marketing and I’ve seen some fantastic Mother’s Day models from nonprofits like yours in the last few weeks. Here are two of the very best: